Magnifying eyeglasses are hands free magnifiers designed for viewing close objects for an extended period of time; such as for reading.
They look like, and are worn as, normal reading glasses, but they have a stronger lens which can magnify close objects.
Wearing a magnifier on your head instead of having to hold it is more comfortable for your arm, which won’t tire. You do have to hold the object quite close to see it clearly though.
Scroll down to see my picks for different styles of quality magnifying eyeglasses.
What are the different strength levels on magnifying eyeglasses?
When buying magnifying eyeglasses (or spectacles) you might come across 2 different systems for categorizing their strength. Some categorize the glasses by X power strength and some categorize them by diopter.
Diopter refers to the optical power or strength of the magnifying lens at one meter.
Four diopters (4.0D) is equal to a 100% increase in magnification, ie 1x power magnification, ie double the size of the viewed object.
Commonly, handheld magnifying glasses use the X magnification to indicate strength, whereas eyeglasses are measured in diopters. This isn’t always marked clearly. Sometimes eyeglasses are advertised as being a certain number X when what they really should say is diopter instead of X.
A guide to converting magnification strength of eyeglasses
|If you use a magnifying glass of this strength…
|This is the equivalent strength in magnifying eyeglasses.
What strength reading glasses do you need?
If you’ve used reading glasses or magnifying glasses before, use that as a guide to your needs.
Use the chart above to convert the magnifying glass strength you use to the equivalent level of diopters for reading glasses. If you suspect you need something stronger go up a level or two.
If this is the first time you’ve needed magnifying eyeglasses then start out at a low level such as +4 diopter or less. You don’t want to get glasses that are too strong for you, because it’s more likely to cause you discomfort, pain and unnecessary hardship.
It is generally better to choose the lowest power level that allows you to effectively correct your vision.
Yes, this might mean you need to get new glasses as your vision worsens, but the good news is that magnifying eyeglasses are very affordable at only a few dollars each. Much cheaper than prescription glasses.
Glasses up to 12 diopter are readily available in store and online. Amazon has a huge range in numerous styles and patterns for men and women.
Different styles of magnifying eyeglasses
Magnifying reading glasses for women
Kerecsen 5 Pairs Fashion Ladies Reading Glasses Spring Hinge Pattern Design. These come in various strengths ranging from .5 diopters to 6.0 diopters. Various colors and patterns available.
Unisex magnifying reading glasses for men or women
These stylish looking magnifier safety glasses are anti fog with a vented nose bridge. They are available from .5 diopters to 3.00 diopters.
They are also available in a bifocal version, and in a brown sunglasses look.
These unisex magnifying reading glasses by TruVision Readers come in various different strengths and colors. You can also buy one pair or multi packs.
The strongest high power magnification glasses
These magnifying spectacles are stronger than most.
Available in +4, +4.5, +5 and +6 magnification strength levels. Note that at the time of writing this article, the Amazon listing for the product is saying 4.0X rather than 4.0 diopter… but this is confusing and it ought to have written diopter. Available with free shipping from Amazon.
Magnifying reading glasses for men
These stainless steel framed magnifying reading glasses with a lightweight metal frame, come in a 3 pack.
Reading Sunglasses with a +4 magnification level. Available with a black or tortoiseshell frame.
These magnifying safety sunglasses have a UV 400 filter for maximum UV protection. Available in 1.5, 2.0 or 2.5 diopter magnification.
Magnifying safety glasses
These magnifying safety glasses by Spits Adventurewear come in various magnification levels from 1.25 to 3.00 diopters.
Magnifying eyeglasses are an affordable solution for people with mild vision loss. They are much cheaper than prescription glasses. They give you a small amount of magnification hands-free so you don’t get tired holding a hand-held magnifier for extended periods of time. They come in many different styles and variations.
The system for measuring strength of eyeglasses is different to that of measuring strength of hand-held magnifying glasses, so check the table above to work out what strength magnifying eyeglasses you need.